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How to Prepare Your Car for a Summer Road Trip

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The Top 4 Things You Need to Check Before for Your Summer Road Trip
During the summer months, millions of Americans pack their car and hit the road for an adventure. According to AAA (American Automobile Association), 7 million motorists will experience car trouble during the summer, mostly from dead batteries, flat tires and keys locked inside cars. 

Whether you're embarking on a cross-country journey or staying local, here are some tips for preparing your vehicle for the road.  

Car Battery
During a recent AAA survey, it found that two-thirds of car owners have never had their batteries tested. Unless you have a new car, don't leave home without knowing the status of your battery. Be sure to have jumper cables in the vehicle and know how to use them.

Get a complimentary battery test during your next service or just stop by the next time you're in the area and we'll test your battery. 

How to Jump Start a Battery
  • Pull the car with the good battery next to the vehicle with the dead battery, or in a place where the cables will easily reach from the battery of one car to the battery of the other. The cars should not be touching and both ignitions should be shut off. Prop open the hood of each vehicle.
  • Visibly locate the batteries and their terminals. Each battery has two metal terminals. One is marked Positive (+) the other Negative (-). There are also positive and negative cables in the jumper set. The red one is positive, the black one is negative.
  • Click on the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery to connect the positive clamp.
  • Click on the positive terminal of the "live" battery to connect the other positive (+) clamp. Now you need to click on the negative (-) terminal of the "live" battery to connect
Before the rubber meets the road, be sure to check the tread on your tires and ensure they are properly filled to the vehicle and tire specifications.    

Measuring Tire Tread
To check the depth of a tire tread, you will need a penny or quarter. Place the penny in the tire's tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If Lincoln's entire head is visible, your tread depth is less than 2/32 and it's time for new tires. 

You can also measure tire tread depth using the treadwear indicator bar that's manufactured into your tires. When these bars become visibly flush with the adjacent ribs, the tire has no more than 2/32 inch of tread remaining, indicating it's time for new tires.

When was your vehicle's last oil change? Routinely changing your oil helps maintain peak engine function by removing wear particles that build up in the oil. Before any road trip, get an oil and filter change, tire rotation and multi-point inspection to ensure everything is A-OK before you hit the road. 

Looking for oil change coupons in Denver? Check out our service specials, including maintenance packages starting at $90 for three oil changes, three tire rotations, three multi-point inspections and three exterior car washes. What a deal!

Don't forget your emergency supplies for any long trip. Being ready for the typical "bump in the road" will help you keep calm. Depending on your location, some emergency services may not be available. Being prepared with some basic emergency items will help in case you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere. 

Some items to include:
  • Emergency Kit or First Aid Kit
  • Phone Charger
  • Flashlight
  • Jumper cables
  • Spare key(s) 
Having a spare key on your adventures is ideal. What if you accidentally lock the keys in the car? Don't wait for a locksmith or attempt to break into your vehicle. Invest in a magnetic hide-a-key holder that can be placed under your vehicle for emergencies. Also, pack your First Aid Kit under a car seat so it's accessible inside the vehicle. You don't want to be digging around the trunk on the side of a busy highway searching for a band-aid. 

Wherever your adventures take you this season, we hope you have a wonderful ride! 
  • Send us your pictures and road trip memories to be included in the Weekend Warrior club! 
  • Need service before your trip? Schedule an online appointment or call us at 866-870-8225
  • Need any parts or accessories? Shop our online VW Accessories catalog or call us at 866-871-8292 for Volkswagen parts and accessories assistance for your model.